[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Location: > Lists > Mailing List Etiquette > Remove Legalese Boilerplate Content    Site Map

Remove Legalese Boilerplate Content

Including bogus legalistic terms in your messages, like those some brain dead lawyers want everyone to put on their faxes, is a waste of everyone's time. It most certainly does not protect any proprietary information you might send. For protection, you need to encrypt, something else entirely that is not appropriate on a mailing list.

The boilerplate false and insulting claims of confidentiality and privilege often take a form like this:

This email and any attachments are confidential and privileged. If you
are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately
and destroy this message. You may not store, forward, distribute, ...
upon pain of legal action.

First, such boilerplate contains useless adhesions, meaning the explicit and implied threats they make are particularly annoying. If you send something via email, the recipients and anyone else who sees your clear text postcard in transit can undetectably and with full deniability do whatever they want with the information written on it in plain view. Even casual users of email know email is not a particularly secure communications medium. Thus the threats in typical bogus legalistic boilerplate are naught but an attempt at highly improper intimidation. Demands made in this manner will be regarded as evidence of a hostile attitude on your part by a significant portion of recipients. The threats will negatively affect how your recipients perceive the other ideas in your message.

Second, in the case of mailing lists, falsely claiming a message is "confidential and privileged" is simply too stupid for words. Trying to make your terms adhere to the entire world without a meeting of the minds is beyond wild. If confidentiality were an issue, you would not be broadcasting the message, now would you? You almost certainly wish to avoid gratuitously insulting your recipients that way.

Third, such legalistic boilerplate is a waste of bandwidth and disk space. Since they serve no useful purpose, such adhesions are certainly more of a waste than a typical four or five line signature (which often contains useful contact information for the sender). Showing respect for your recipients resources, by not including a signature greater than a few lines long, will usually cause your message to be viewed in a more favorable light.

In the end, domains that habitually/automatically include such threats, gratuitous insults, and wastes of space on their users' messages likely end up blacklisted. Individual senders who think it is cool to play dress up and include such bogus disclaimers end up having their messages automatically discarded, unread, by many recipients. Ironically, this is only giving the sender what they explicitly ask for, as the bogus disclaimers always seem to demand the message be destroyed.

Avoid those fates; work towards respectful communications in a manner and format that increases the likelihood that recipients will read, understand, and respect your messages and opinions. Do not include bogus legalistic boilerplate on your messages.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]